Week 1 – Getting started

Starting the ONL232 course I felt uncertain what to expect in terms of contents and what to do. However, the introduction online seminar in Zoom was very welcoming, nice and friendly and provided a comforting start for all of us beginners in the area of online teaching and learning. It was also very nice to meeting my course mates with so many diverse backgrounds and experiences but with a shared interest in starting to use online tools and platforms in their teaching and learning. The course introduction film on Youtube  was also very useful to get an overview of the course (ONL232 film, introduction).

The course film about the course community space (ONL232 film, community space) and how to publish to your group was also very useful, since every aspect of the course takes place online.

Interestingly several of the participants, particularly facilitators and co-facilitators, reportedly had been part of the course since many years over several iterations. I’m curious of what makes them do that. Perhaps each iteration of the course is somewhat different due to the evolving technical nature and cultural acceptance of online teaching and learning? Potentially, digital learning tools and workspaces may be more open to rapid changes over time due to technical advancements. Or as stated by Novak (2017) “…the explosive development of the Internet and other technologies, permit advances in educational practices at least as important as the invention of the printing press in 1460.“, which I can imagine may be creating both opportunities and challenges to educators.

This fast pace of changes concerning online learning was also reflected upon in a blog post by a previous course participant, co-facilitator and presenter (Oddone). Notably that different online platforms may come and go, and that “it is almost impossible to describe the current context beyond the immediate hour and day” (Oddone).

Additionally, the meaning of the “network” part of teaching and learning was also quite new to me starting the course. Exploring this topic in the suggested reading there seem to be at least three key elements or contexts that may be used to describe or frame open or online network learning (Oddone), i.e. that it is peer supported (being part of a team), interest powered (topic of joint interest for the team members), and academically oriented (possibility to gain academic recognition of course completion when fulfilling certain course requirements).

Overall, I’m quite exited to learn more after this first introduction to the topic of online network learning. After this first week I still find it somewhat unclear exactly what to expect of the coming weeks, but I feel encouraged by the warm, reassuring and open atmosphere to explore online network learning from different perspectives as “a process journey”. Sounds like fun! 🙂


Novak (2017). The Promise of New Ideas and New Technology for Improving Teaching and Learning. Cell Biology Education Vol 2, No 2. Available at https://www.lifescied.org/doi/full/10.1187/cbe.02-11-0059

ONL232 course introduction film. Available at https://www.opennetworkedlearning.se/onl232-course-overview/week-1-getting-started/

Oddone. Open Networked Learning: Challenges and Opportunities. Avalable at https://www.linkinglearning.com.au/open-networked-learning-challenges-and-opportunities/